After You, My Dear Alphonse!

In: Novels

Submitted By Lollern123
Words 625
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Analytical essay – After You, My Dear Alphonse!

The novel is written by Shirley Jackson in 1943. “After You, My Dear Alphonse” shows how the 1940’s racist attitudes were - (and in all probability still are) - influenced by children’s parents. It does really show, how stereotypical the view was regarding African-American’s.
The novel is taking place in Mrs. Wilson’s house, where she just finished baking gingerbread. She heard her son Johnny arrives, but a second voice appeared. It is an African American boy, named Boyd, and he is a bit smaller than Johnny. He is carrying kindling wood, and Mrs. Wilson reprimands Johnny for not helping his friend. They invited him for lunch, and Mrs. Wilson inquires about Boyd’s family with hesitation. She inquires about the profession of Boyd’s father, and furthermore, she started questioning about, why Boyd’s mother does not work. Underlying, Johnny is chastising his own mother, when he pointed that she does not work either. Mrs. Wilson offered Boyd secondhand clothing, but Boyd declines politely the offer. Mrs. Wilson denies Boyd any more gingerbread and chastises him for being ungrateful. She insists that she is only disappointed, as Boyd is fully aware of the fact that she is mad.
“After You, My Dear Alphonse!” is operating with a couple of themes. The main themes are Racism and prejudices. It is emphasized in the text, where Mrs. Wilson says plenty of narrow things, which are mentioned below by some examples. “What about all your other brothers and sisters?”
Mrs. Wilson’s narrow vision on people with another skin-colour is generalizing. It is obvious that she is referring to that Africans get a lot of children. But her prejudice proved wrong, when he told, that he only had a sister.
The following three sentences indicate, that Mrs. Wilson suggests, that Boyd and his family only can be poor. * “There’s…...

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